Daily Archives: June 28, 2018

thiruvAimozhi – 6.10.10 – agalagillEn – Part 4

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agalagillEn iRaiyum enRu alar mEl mangai uRai mArbA!
nigaril pugazhAy! ulagam mUnRudaiyAy! ennai ALvAnE!
nigaril amarar munik kaNangaL virumbum thiruvEngadaththAnE!
pugal onRillA adiyEn un adik kIzh amarndhu pugundhEnE.


Highlights from nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai (Continuation)

[SaraNAgathi’s greatness was highlighted. Now, we move on to the third explanation which is based on SaraNAgathi’s greatness]

With this pAsuram starting with “agalagillEn iRaiyum enRu alar mEl mangai uRai mArbA“, AzhwAr surrenders to thiruvEngadamudaiyAn by falling at his divine feet, manifesting his own Akinchanyam (lack of anything in self) and with the purushakAram of periya pirAttiyAr.

  • agalagillEn iRaiyum enRu alar mEl mangai uRai mArbA – This upAyam [emperumAn as the means] is both nirapEksha (without expectation) and sApEksha (with expectation), due to the different states. How is it nirapEksha? emperumAn himself, without any expectation, will instill the inclination [in the AthmA], nurture that inclination, eliminate the hurdles, carry the AthmA to paramapadham and accept the kainkaryam [from the AthmA] which is apt; he does not need any assistance. (Why is it said sApEksha? It is because, he expects a qualified person who surrenders and purushakAram). As this means is for a qualified person, it is adhikAri sApEksham; (just as it is expecting a qualified person, it also expects purushakAram) How is that? When the qualified person, retracts [from surrendering] seeing his own previous offences, and emperumAn’s independent attitude, omniscience etc, pirAtti who says “don’t fear” is required. (Hence) emperumAn expects both a qualified person to surrender and pirAtti who facilitates the process of surrender.
  • agalagillEn iRaiyum – I cannot separate from you even for a moment. Who is speaking like this? She is the one who is the lord of three types of chEthanas (nithya, muktha, badhdha AthmAs), and the controller of the lord of both spiritual and material realms! The proof for her being the lord of three types of chEthanas is in SrI sUktham “ISvarIm sarva bhUthAnAm” (the lord of all creatures). The proof for her being the controller of the lord of both realms is in “pum pradhAna ISvara ISvarIm” which means emperumAn is the ISvara for pradhAna (achith) and pum/purusha (chith); she is the lord of such emperumAn. Thus, she is explained as the controller for everyone. How does she control? She controls the three types of chEthanas as the mother; she controls ISvara as the beloved person with love. While mAthruthvam (motherhood) is natural for her, can the praNayithvam (being the beloved person of emperumAn) which occurs occasionally, be incidental? No. Since her distinguished beauty is the base for emperumAn’s love towards her, that loving relationship is also eternal. Even his activities such as creation etc are under her control as said in SrI sthavam “yasyA vIkshya mukham thadhingitha parAdhInO vidhaththEkilam“, he would perform creation etc being captivated by her [adolescent] age and her divine glance. Why should that be the case? Isn’t it said that he engages in creation out of his own mercy in SrIrangarAja sthavam “karaNa kaLEbarai gatayithum dhayamAna manA:“? Only when he creates looking at the helpless state of the chEthanas, his mercy would trigger the creation; but it is his own helpless state [of being mesmerised by her beauty], as she glances at him, he realises his own self, and as his mercy is being triggered by her, he performs creation due to that mercy. When she controls emperumAn, she does that without affecting her own nature which is explained in neeLA sUktham “asyESAnA jagathO vishNu pathnI” (the lord of the universe and the beloved wife of vishNu) and in SrIvishNu purANam 1.8.17 “vishNO: SrIranapAyinI” (lakshmi who is inseparable from vishNu); How is that possible? Just as rays of the sun which remain at the disposal of the sun, yet will add splendour to the sun, and just as the fragrance is subservient to the flower, yet it makes the flower precious. Just as ISvara remains svathanthra (independent) yet be totally existing for pirAtti, pirAtti too remains exclusive subservient to emperumAn yet adds splendour to him. Generally, separation [sorrow] is due to karma [past deeds]; while she is untouched by karma, can she say “agalagillEn“? Just as [worldly people would speak based on] karma, pirAtti is saying this based on his distinguished greatness. But shouldn’t one just enjoy the distinguished greatness [instead of fearing if one will lose that enjoyment]? Just as one who acquired a priceless gemstone will fear “will this stay with me?”, she is needlessly fearing “what if I have to leave his divine chest?”.
  • iRaiyum agalagillEn – I will not even bear the separation which leads to union [that which enhances the experience]. Just as emperuAn will not tolerate any other assistance when he is the means, she is too tender to even bear the separation which leads to union. Staying in his divine chest, she is informing his own distinguished nature by saying “I am unable to bear your separation”. As he is omniscient wouldn’t he already know his distinguished nature? Isn’t it a defect in his knowledge if he comes to know about it when she tells him? If he does not know based on her telling him, it will be a defect for his love towards her! It is also said in thiruvAimozhi 8-4-6 “thanakkum than thanmai aRivariyAnai ” (he cannot know about his qualities himself). Creation of the universe etc are subject to his knowledge; it is said in thiruvAimozhi 3.10.8gyAnamahdhE koN(du) ellAk karumangaLum sey” (he is being the controller for all the worlds, with his knowledge). His state is such that he cannot even say “agalagillEn iRaiyum“. Only when we see his words during separation, we can understand his greatness compared to that of pirAtti who has seen his greatness. She said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 40.10 “mAsAdhUrdhvam na jIvishyE” (I will not be able to survive for more than a month if I don’t see SrI rAma). But he said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 66.10 “najIvEyam kshaNamapi” (I will not survive even for a moment if I don’t see sIthA). For one who is dependent, one needs to be patient until the owner arrives; but for an independent person, there is no such restriction. So, is there any shortcoming for mumukshus (those who desire for liberation) when such distinguished couple is present [as their refuge]? For those who pursued them individually, total destruction is certain for them. But for those who remain “the divine couple is our goal”, they will certainly be uplifted. We can see this in the case of rAvaNa et al [rAvaNa desired for sIthA alone, he got killed. sUrpaNakA desired for SrI rAma alone, she lost her nose and ears. vibhIshaNAzhwAn desired for sIthA and SrI rAma, he was rewarded aptly].
  • alar mEl mangaipirAtti who is having most tender like the soft fragrance of a flower which is filtered out from buds and dust and aptly enjoyable age. She who has the features which would make him tell “agalagillEn” is now saying that herself.
  • uRai mArbA – After relishing the joy in his divine chest, the flower in which she was born, appears to be a thorn.  Just as the divine daughter of SrI janaka never thought about SrI mithilA and just as liberated souls would never think about the material realm as said in chAndhOgya upanishath 8.12.3 “nOpajanam smaran idham SarIram” (AthmA will not contemplate about the material body after reaching the spiritual realm), after relishing the most enjoyable divine chest of emperumAn, she never thinks about the flower. When her knowledge is fully expanded, it is not a fault of her knowledge if she does not know about and see material realm; but it is emperumAn’s most enjoyable nature [which makes her not see the material realm]; so, she too is not seeing the material realm due to his enjoyable nature.
  • uRai mArbA – Just as she is not seeing the flower, she is also not seeing any other limbs of emperumAn beyond his divine chest. The other limbs will remain unused/unseen. Until here, “SrI” and “math” are explained. SrI is said to explain the purushakAram which is required [for SaraNAgathi]. What is the purpose of “math”, the eternal togetherness? That indicates the eternal presence with emperumAn, which ensures that the one who surrenders need not look for a specific time to surrender.
  • nigaril pugazhAy … – Now, this explains the word, nArAyaNa. While nArAyaNa means ownership of both spiritual and material realms, and being the cause of the universe as said in padhma purANam “narAjjAthAnithathvAni” (all entities originate from nara), our AchAryas highlighted the four qualities namely saulabhyam, sauSeelyam, vAthsalyam and svAmithvam which are required in emperumAn to be a refuge; AzhwAr is explaining the proper sequence of those qualities. While talking about those qualities, why is vAthsalyam listed in the beginning? Since the one who surrenders has offences, when purushakAram is done by pirAtti, subsequently, for emperumAn to enjoy such offences as qualities, he needs vAthsalyam – that is why it is highlighted as the first quality [vAthsalyam is the motherly forbearance where a mother will treat her child’s defects as enjoyable aspects]. Would “nigaril pugazhAy” mean vAthsalyam? This is explained in [SaraNAgathi] gadhyam, while emperumAnAr explained certain qualities including vAthsalyam in chUrNikai 5apAra kAruNya sauSeelya vAthsalya …” (boundless mercy, simplicity and motherly forbearance), he also separately highlights in chUrNikai 5ASritha vAthsalyaika jaladhE” (having overflowing motherly forbearance towards devotees). This explains why vAthsalyam is the most celebrated and primary quality of emperumAn.
  • ulagam mUnRudaiyAy – The reason for the previously explained vAthsalyam, which is the motherly relationship [svAmithvam – being the lord/creator of all] is highlighted here. One becomes vathsalA (one with motherly care), due to giving birth to  a child.
  • ennai ALvAnE” indicates sauSeelyam. Would AzhwAr who surrenders manifesting his Akinchanyam, say this in the context of gratitude at the time of performing kainkaryam [for engaging him in service]? (He is highlighting this so that emperumAn engages him in service without abandoning him.) In the first word (SrI – agalagillEn iRaiyum enRu alar mEl mangai uRai mArbA), he spoke seeing pirAtti‘s purushakAram; then, (nArAyaNa – nigaril pugazhAy) he spoke seeing emperumAn‘s upAyathvam (being the means); now – he is speaking this (ennai ALvAnE) seeing the world (since he is one among the residents of the world). Here, he is talking about the favour done by emperumAn to self, that is, emperumAn transforming AzhwAr who was one among the worldly people who consider the gain/loss of worldly pleasures as the ultimate gain/loss, into one who knows “other means such as karma yOga etc are hurldes”, having pirAtti as purushakAram and emperumAn himself being the upAyam (means) and upEyam (goal). How is this referred to as sauSeelyam? As said in “Seelam nAma – mahathOmandhaissaha nIrandhrENa samSlEsha:” (sauSeelyam means a great personality mingling with lowly person without any difference similar to water mixing with water), AzhwAr is saying “emperumAn mingled with me without seeing his own greatness and my lowliness”.
  • nigaril amarar munik kaNangaL indicates saulabhyam. The categorisation of servitors indicated in “amarar munik kaNangaL” is the same as said in thiruvAimozhi 10.9.9 “vaigundhaththamararum munivarum” (the amaras (who are focussed on kainkaryam without break) and munivars (who are focussed on meditating upon emperumAn‘s qualities) and in linga purANam “bhakthai: bhAgavathaissaha(devotees and followers). nigaril means there is none comparable to them [amara – nithyasUris, muni is explained as mukthAthmAs]. samsAris (worldly people) are not a match due to their bondage. mukthAthmAs are not a match due to their having bondage previously. As ISvara has responsibilities such as creating the universe etc, he is also not a match for them. [Do they not have responsibilities such as creation etc?] It is said in brahma sUthram 4.4.17 “jagath vyApAra varjam” (they (nithyas, mukthas) have all capabilities except engaging in activities related to material realm) and brahma sUthram 4.4.21 “bhOga mAthra sAmya lingAthcha” (Having similar identity in enjoyment only) – so they have enjoyment in bhagavAn related matters only.
  • virumbum thiruvEngadaththAnE – This is their desire. Similar to the presence of a  lamp in a dark room, more than in paramapadham, as said in nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi 47 “kAnamum vAnaramum” (forests, monkeys), as he has all the beautiful qualities such as simplicity etc here to accept even the most lowly ones, and since they see what is not present even in paramapadham, they like it more here; saulabhyam is archaka parAdhInathvam (being at the disposal of the one who worships him), the quality of accepting everyone irrespective of their being superior or inferior.

We will see the remaining portion of this pAsuram in the next part of this article.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 12 – madhiththAy pOy nAngin

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AzhwAr implores people to analyse the hardships which those who do not know emperumAn face and the benefit that gajEndhrAzhwAn (the elephant gajEndhra) accrued by thinking about him as mentioned in the SlOkam “sa thu nAgavara: SrImAn manasA’chinthayath harIm” (that gajEndhrAzhwAn who has the wealth of kainkaryam (service to emperumAn) thought of hari (emperumAn) in his mind). While the pAsuram has been addressed to emperumAn, in line with the earlier and the succeeding pAsurams, the people of the world are the real target.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

madhiththAy pOy nAngin madhiyAdhAr pOy vIzha
madhiththAy madhikOL viduththAy madhiththAy
madukkidandha mA mudhalai kOL viduppAn Azhi
vidaRkiraNdum pOyiraNdin vIdu

Word for Word Meanings

pOy – analysing all the SAsthras (sacred texts)
madhiyAr – those who do not know you
nAngil – among the four major species (celestial, human, animal and plant)
pOy vIzha – falling [into one of the four species]
madhiththAy – you had taken a vow
madhi – moon’s
kOL – curse
viduththAy – Oh one who caused it to disappear!
madu – in a pond
kidandha – having arrived at (due to a curse)
mA mudhalai – a huge crocodile
kOL – grasping (the elephant gajEndhra)
viduppAn – to liberate it
Azhi – the divine disc
vidaRku – to propel
madhiththAy – you thought of
iraNdum – both the elephant and the crocodile
pOy – leaving their earlier stage
iraNdin – for the two creatures
vIdu – for liberation from their curse and for attaining SrIvaikuNtam
madhiththAy – you took a vow


nAngil pOy madhiyAr vIzha madhiththAy – you had vowed that those who do not know you despite analysing the four vEdhas will bite the dust.

nAngil madhiyAdhAr – “chathur vEdhadharO viprO vAsudhEvam na vindhadhi I vEdhabhArabharAkrAnthas sa vai brAhmaNagardhabha:  II” (the brAhmaNa who studies the four vEdhas and who does not know vAsudhEvan (emperumAn), is like a donkey which carries the loaded vEdhas (which is like invaluable saffron) ). These people (who, despite analysing vEdhas do not know emperumAn) are despised like this (like the example given here).

madhiyAr nAngil pOy vIzha madhiththAy – you vowed that such people will be born in the four major species (of celestial, human, animal and plant) repeatedly. emperumAn has mercifully mentioned in SrI bhagavath gIthA 16-19thAnaham dhvishatha: krUrAn samsAreshu narAdhamAn I kshipAmyajasramaSubhAnAsurIshvEva yOnishu  II” (I push those who hate me, who are cruel, who are the worst among people  and sinners, into the demonic species repeatedly).

madhi kOL viduththAy – you removed the affliction of chandhra (moon) who knew you. Is it not well known that those who do not know you suffer and those who know you are joyous!

Has this been seen elsewhere before?

madukkidandha mAmudhalai kOL viduppAn AzhividaRku madhiththAy – you decided to release the divine disc (to allow the elephant to be liberated) when the crocodile in the pond grasped firmly.

mAmudhalai – both in terms of physical form and strength, the crocodile was bigger than the elephant.

kOL – the strong grasp (of the crocodile)

Azhi vidaRku madhiththAy – while you could have killed the crocodile through your vow/will, you came to the pond and released the disc so that you would sustain gajEndhra who wanted to have your dharSan (seeing) with the divine hand and divine disc. While removing the enemy could have been achieved with emperumAn’s vow, pleasing the follower can be done only through releasing the disc. Aren’t emperumAn’s divine, auspicious form and armaments/ornaments meant only for his followers, as quoted in jithanthE SlOkam 5 “na thE rUpam na chAkArO nAyudhAni nA chAspadham”  (your basic nature, your divine form, your weapons, your dwelling place are not meant for you; they are for your devotees)!

iraNdum pOy iraNdin vIdu madhiththAy – you vowed that both crocodile and elephant would get rid of their forms and return to their original forms – crocodile regained its old gandharva (a class of celestial entity) form and the elephant went to SrIvaikuNtam. vIdu – position. This word can also mean liberation. Hence emperumAn vowed that crocodile will get liberated from its curse and elephant, liberation from samsAram.

Legend has it that a sage dhEvala was carrying out penance in a water body. At that time, a gandharva by name hUhU grasped the sage’s leg due to which the sage cursed him that the gandharva will be born as a crocodile and eat by grasping its victims. Similarly, indhradhyumna, a vishNubhaktha (devotee of vishNu) was meditating when he did not see the arrival of sage agasthya. The sage cursed him that he will become an elephant due to his vanity. Though born as an elephant, indhradhyumna was devoted to vishNu. One day, when he entered a pond to pluck a flower and offer it to emperumAn, he was grasped by the crocodile (gandharva) and the two fought for a very long time. Ultimately, when the elephant cried out to emperumAn AdhimUlam (the prime cause) he was saved by emperumAn and both crocodile and elephant were liberated from their curse.

We will take up the 13th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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